Another potluck, another dish shared and this time Husband was so pleased with it that he requested it again. (I would say that he even went to the store to pick up a missing ingredient, but he loves going to the store, so that doesn't signify.)
Once you've decided to take the plunge and cook some beans, you may find yourself wondering how to turn them into to chili, and then you'll remember that the crazy woman who talked you into cooking dried beans in the first place promised you a recipe. And then you'll come looking for it, and so I figured I'd better get it up here.
This is a great potluck recipe, because it comes together quickly once the beans are cooked (and if you use canned I promise not to tell, just be sure to rinse them well.) the cornbread topping makes it easy to transport without any sloshing and dribbling, and it's easy for folks to serve themselves so they don't hold up the line. The chili itself is vegan, and you could easily skip the cornbread and offer corn chips instead to make the whole thing vegan and gluten-free (so long as you check the label on those chips.)
And the random bit of food knowledge today is about the spice aisle. Chile is the fruit. Chili is the stew that is flavored with chiles. Chile powder is the dried, ground fruit. Chili powder is a blend containing chile powder and other ingredients. This version of chili is moderately hot, with a slow burn because I used ground chipotles. If you cannot get ground chipotles, feel free to use whatever ground chile you like. If you want a mild stew, start with just a teaspoon of chile powder and work your way up to the heat-level you like.
2 Tablespoons oil
1 medium onion
1 teaspoon salt
4-6 cloves garlic
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes (fire-roasted is nice if you have them)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 Tablespoon chipotle powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
7 cups beans cooked with salt and bay leaves. (I used a mix of black, red and pinto beans.)
1 recipe skillet cornbread (minus the butter for the pan)
Locate your casserole dish. Make sure that it's clean. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat.
Dice the onion and add to the oil along with the salt. Stir and allow to cook while you peel and mince the garlic. Add the garlic and cook until just fragrant.
Add the can of tomatoes with the juices and bring to a simmer. Add spices. Stir to combine.
Add beans, stir, and cover, lower heat to simmer.
Preheat the oven to 450 Fahrenheit.
Assemble the wet and dry ingredients for the cornbread, but do not combine.
Pour the chili into the casserole dish and smooth the surface. Combine the wet and dry ingredients for the cornbread, then pour the batter over the chili and smooth gently. The cornbread will rise and spread in the oven, so don't worry about getting into every corner.
Bake for 15-18 minutes until the cornbread is golden brown. Serve with whatever variety of chips, shredded cheese, sour cream and other toppings suit your fancy and your pantry.